The SEM PR Process: Best Practices for eMarketers
By Kent Lewis
In part one of this two part series, I took you through the brief history of SEM PR. In this article, I’ll focus on various aspects of a comprehensive SEM PR program. Key elements include SEO PR, pay-per-click (PPC), online reputation management (ORM) and SEM PR campaign measurement.
As discussed in a previous article, the fundamentals of SEO PR include press release optimization and distribution. For starters, keyword-loaded press releases should be sent over the wire to ensure proper pickup in new search engines (I recommend BusinessWire). Those same releases should also be posted in the News Room. For bonus points, consider incorporating photos or video content in the distribution (or in the News Room). Automate distribution to target online media and bloggers via RSS or email.
Don’t stop once you’ve submitted the release to search engines and wire services. Incorporate the press release into your paid search program, driving qualified, targeted visitors to the release or related materials in the News Room. Consider linking to positive press coverage, awards or recognition for bonus points.
With the understanding that your brand is owned by the customer and not you, it’s critical to manage your reputation online. I outlined the fundamental on-site and off-site elements of an effective ORM program in an earlier article. In addition to key content on the Web site, as well as syndicated content on other industry sites, be sure to monitor social media sites for comments and opportunities to engage in conversation. Also ensure all positive coverage is visible across all search engines.
Traditional PR may be the art of persuasion, but SEM PR is the art of the sale. SEM PR is highly measurable, so make sure metrics are incorporated into the program from the beginning. Consider tracking releases/news via unique discount promo code or 800#. At the end of each campaign, measure total press release impressions, visits and associated conversions (trending over time as appropriate).
Ensure maximum visibility and positive brand perception by incorporating the above elements into an integrated SEM PR campaign.